Here We Go Again….
On October 9, 1991, as a member of the House of Representatives, I marched with several colleagues to the Senate to ask – really demand – that Anita Hill have a chance to tell her story of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas to the Judiciary Committee.
Clarence Thomas was up for confirmation. He was a very controversial figure based on his right-wing leanings, and information from a respected professor could not be overlooked.
When we knocked on the door of the Senate Democratic conference lunch, we were told we could not come in to express our views. In fact, the woman who opened the door (just a slit) said something I will never forget: “We don’t allow strangers in the Senate.”
That comment inspired me to write a book, Strangers in the Senate, about the ways women were viewed at that time: like strangers, not ordinary elected officials.
Now, eerily, after a rushed GOP confirmation process of right-wing nominee Brett Kavanaugh, here comes another truth teller.
Yes, she is a truth teller in my opinion. You just know it as you read her account, which she told to a therapist in 2012, long before this nomination. She even took a lie detector test.
Anita Hill was, and is, a truth teller. Because of the pressure from the women of the House, the hearings on Thomas reopened and Anita Hill testified. It is important to note that there was not one woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee at that time, making it a very stacked deck, in my view.
We know that after Anita Hill’s testimony, the hearing on Thomas was shut down. Nobody in the public knew that three more witnesses were waiting in the wings, never to be called, who would’ve corroborated Hill’s testimony. Shame on our system of justice, which failed us, giving us a justice who’s been very unfriendly to women’s rights, workers’ rights, and all our rights.
This is a Supreme Court opening that is critical. There is absolutely no reason to rush. There’s a most credible woman who has made serious allegations of misconduct and even a crime against Judge Kavanaugh. The only answer is an FBI background check to track down all these allegations including the other women who have come forward. Anything less is a travesty of justice, and whoever votes to move this along quickly will be guilty of hurting our nation for decades to come.